China is about to set a world record on October 23rd, 2018, as it unveiled the world’s longest sea bridge! The bridge, named the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, was under construction for 9 years, is said to be more than 34 miles long, and designed to connect two Chinese territories to nine nearby cities!

In the last 37 years, China has moved from being the world center for poverty to becoming the world’s center for wonderment.

According to the Guardian, the bridge is expected to open to traffic on Wednesday, though only certain vehicles — shuttles, freight cars, and private cars with permits — are allowed to cross. Pedestrians and bicyclists are prohibited.

China is indeed a wonder to behold and the construction of the bridge is yet another proof that impossible is nothing.

Read: How to Create a Vision Board That Produces Results

As a business owner who wants to build a profitable brand, here are 3 things you can learn from the successful completion of the world’s longest bridge

  1. You must set goals that will scare you: The idea of building a bridge that’s 34 miles long is scary but it’s the scary nature of the goal that brought about possible solutions. The human brain is designed to solve problems and the scarier your goals, the higher the quality of your thinking and ideas. As you grow your small business, do not settle for small goals. Dream big and watch how quality ideas will begin to flow your way. you must not only focus on short-term goals
  2. Prepare for the long haul: When you have scary goals, you must be prepared for the long hauls. Great things do not happen overnight. It took China nine painstakingly long years to make this dream a reality. For you, it might be 1 or 5 or even 10. Whatever amount of time is needed, you must be prepared for the long haul
  3. Ignore naysayers: Scary goals will attract negativity from naysayers. Over the course of 9 years, the bridge project was continuously criticized by naysayers, but China kept at it because they know it’s a game changer. As a business owner who truly wants to be successful, you owe it to yourself to remain focused while not letting their words get at you. Also, you must understand that when naysayers try to pull you down in the pursuit of your dreams, they are not necessarily enemies of progress. They are simply doing their job. The onus then remains on you to ignore them and work toward making your dream come true.                                                                                          Thank you so much for reading! What other lessons would you like to share? Please leave a comment. Also, if you found this piece valuable, kindly share

Starting a new business is one of the most exciting times in the life of an entrepreneur. However, the excitement can easily wane of if many things begin to go wrong one after another. There is no doubt that we all have made mistakes and will continue to do so throughout our lives no matter how careful you are. The problem, however, is when those mistakes become routine or are completely avoidable.  Every entrepreneur should take the time to conduct a research prior to starting a business and one of the researches should be to learn from the mistakes of others. My goal is to share six of the common mistakes that an entrepreneur can and should avoid before diving in.

1. Failure to have a thorough understanding of how your business will make money

Do you have a thorough understanding of how your business will make money? Just before you say “yes”, let me say this, making money in your business is not just about making sales, it’s about being in good standing in terms of cash.

You might be making sales and still not make money or have enough cash flow. If your recurring expenses are way higher than your sales, your business will never be in good standing.

So now, let me ask the question again. Do you have a thorough understanding of how your business will make money?

[Read: The Period of Waiting is not the time of Lamentation]

Earlier this year, I was reviewing the business financial statement of a client who needed help with her business. She couldn’t figure why she was making so much in sales but could barely make ends meet. At first, she thought she was mixing business funds and personal funds together, so she started separating funds. After separating funds, the problem still persisted and that’s when she sought help.

Not having a thorough understanding of how your business will make money is one mistake you should definitely avoid by paying attention to your pricing mechanism and expenses.

When pricing your products (goods/services), you must put your fixed and recurring expenses into consideration.

2. Failure to sell what the customer wants

No matter how grand your business idea might be or how passionate you are about your business, if no one is interested in your products (goods/services), your dreams of building a profitable brand will be shattered. The only way you can build a profitable brand is when you have the right mix of products and people who are willing to pay you.

A brand with no customer is a time bomb waiting to explode.

In order to prevent this mistake, you must do three things.  First, is validate your business idea before you launch.  If peradventure you launched your brand already, you should conduct a market research and survey your target audience. Lastly, if you’ve been in business for a long time, always ask your customers for a feedback on how you may better serve their needs.  This will help you to know what to avoid while also helping you identifying potential opportunities for growth.

[Read: 7 Ways to Monetize Your Skills]

3. Failure to consider the competition

Truly, the sky is big enough for everyone to fly without touching wings but that does not mean you should be oblivious of your competition. Even if your business idea is grand and no one has ever thought about it, sooner or later, more people will start that same business and vie for the same customers you are depending on. Therefore, you cannot build a profitable brand online while completely ignoring your competition. Prior to launching your brand, you must list the top 3 competitors in your industry and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

You must understand how you will differentiate yourself from your competitors and list compelling reasons why you believe customers should choose you over your competitors.

Failure to consider competition is a leading cause of failure in business and this is one mistake you want to avoid as much as it lies in your power.

4. Too much reliance on do-it-yourself

Almost every entrepreneur I have come across thinks they can do it all by themselves. While this is a good quality to have, it might not work in all situations and end up being costly.

Nobody can be good in everything or in every area. You might be really good in some aspects of business but in the other areas of your business where you might be struggling, learn to seek professional help.

For example, I am not so good with the accounting and tax part of my business, so I occasionally hire a professional for a few hundred bucks, who can help put things in order on my behalf. I free up my time by delegating some of the tasks to some other people who are willing to help. Time is so precious and you cannot afford to spend hours doing what someone else can do in a fraction of the time you would spend doing the same task.

[Read: 4 Steps to Becoming a Brand in Demand]

5. Failure to possess the required experience needed

We all know that you do not have to be great to get started but you do have to get started to be great.  However, for your brand to succeed, you need experience as it relates to the services or goods you are providing to your customers.

Experience comes from doing and doing something repeatedly is the mother of skill.

As a budding entrepreneur who truly wants to build a profitable brand online, you must be committed to building your experience in your area of expertise. If it takes volunteering for other organizations or attending power-packed training, seminars, and events, be committed to giving it all it takes to gain experience. Gaining experience makes you become valuable in the marketplace and in turn, helps you to build a profitable brand online.

6. False Illusion as to the efforts required

The truth is, owning a business requires a lot of hard work. It definitely doesn’t come on a platter of gold. The beginning often involves working long and extra hours. You have to keep up with the trends, especially with technological evolution. You have to learn as much as possible within a very short time.

To achieve groundbreaking success, you should have a strong passion for your business, be hard-working and learn to maintain a positive attitude always. Do not allow yourself to be distracted from your main goal. Just keep taking daily steps that will lead you closer to your goal.

This list of common mistakes is not exhaustive and there is no amount of literature you can read that will stop you from making mistakes in your new business. However, if you keep these points in mind while also learning from your mistakes, you will come out on top and build a profitable brand!!

Thanks for reading. What other common mistakes do you think an entrepreneur should avoid when starting a business? Please leave a comment and share this post with a friend.

The world is growing and expanding as a global village at an unprecedented rate, all thanks to the magical social media that connects people who are thousands of miles apart at the click of a button! This golden opportunity continues to open doors of opportunities daily to millions of people across the world. You could be in China and have 90% of your client base in Japan and you could be physically located in the United States and have daily meetings with your team members across the world in real time. With all these advantages that social media offers you, it also comes with its own baggage.

Baggage? Yes, social media has its own baggage which you need to avoid like a plague if you must reach your intended destination. The baggage that social media comes with is that anything you post on social media is ARCHIVED for life. In other words, it cannot be undone. No matter how hard you try, even after you delete it, there’s a record for it somewhere. As a business owner who wants to reach the intended destination, you must be a step ahead so that you are not haunted later in life by your own actions.

In order not to be caught in a web of social media baggage, here are three things you need to avoid like a plague.

1. Ranting: It is amazing that many people now see social media as the place to rant. They rant for everything from their business to their personal relationships to the spiritual life. While it may seem harmless at first, have it at the back of your mind that ranting no matter how justifying it may appear to you does not result in anything beneficial. The bible says in Proverbs 12:16 (Good News Translation), “when a fool is annoyed, he quickly lets it be known. Smart people will ignore an insult.” I know sometimes it’s hard not to vent and that’s why it’s important to surround yourself with people who are matured and can provide you with wise counsel when you feel you’ve been wronged or when you’re deeply hurt. For example, in my #OSBSElite group where I mentor women entrepreneurs, we have provided a secure environment where members can express their frustrations without the risk of being judged.

2. Engaging in frivolous discussions: I might not personally know you but I am probably right that the reason you are reading this article is that you want to learn how to grow your brand profitably. Engaging in frivolous discussions online do not add value to you in any manner, shape or form. When you write, let your words be whole and modest because not only are people watching, they are also screenshotting your conversations. Do not be deceived by “closed” or “secret” social media groups. Everything you write is archived for life. People will do business with you based on what you write. Onpoint Success gained prominence based on what I write. I have had lots of people tell me they found me after reading my write-up or comments. Prior to commenting on an ongoing discussion, ask yourself, “are my words whole?” If you can’t answer yes, keep moving until you can put great words together.

3. Being Inactive: Now, this might sound counterintuitive most especially because I said whatever you post on social media is archived for life. Yes, it’s true but it’s also not an excuse for staying inactive on social media. You cannot be inactive and yet expect to be relevant. If you want to be relevant, you must have a voice that defines who you are and showcases your value to the world. In a breakfast meeting I attended recently, the speaker shared about strategic positioning on social media. This means your social media profile must reflect your destination. This means your profile must reflect the future you want. Stay active on purpose and be a high-quality individual.

Thank you for reading! What other things do you think need to be avoided on social media like a plague? Please leave a comment. If you found this piece valuable, kindly share with others.